Call for Christian development corporation in K'taka

Set up Christian development corporation immediately, say leaders from the community in Karnataka

Former MLC Ivan D'Souza speaks to mediapersons in Mangaluru on Wednesday.

Leaders from the Christian community in Mangaluru have expressed their displeasure over state government cancelling the setting up of Christian Development Corporation which was announced in the previous budget.

"If the government fails to set up the Corporation, a protest will be staged across the state," former MLC Ivan D’Souza warned on Wednesday.

The community members had been demanding setting up of the Corporation for the past five years. The previous coalition government, while presenting the budget in 2019-20, had announced the setting up of the Corporation and an amount of Rs 200 crore was also earmarked. The decision to scrap the Corporation, approved in the Cabinet and announced in the budget by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, is an injustice to the Christian community, D'Souza said

The chief minister should elaborate on reasons for scrapping the Corporation. The Christian community has its presence in 27 districts in the state. The poor labourers from Kalaburagi, Raichur, Ballari and other North Karnataka districts hail from the community, he said.

"Doesn't the government want any development in this community?'' he asked. He said corporations were set up for communities that have a population between 5 lakh to 10 lakh in state.

When Veerashaiva Lingayat community with a population of 1.20 crore placed a demand, the CM announced a separate body for the community within 24 hours. "Why was Christian community neglected?" he asked.

The former MLC said that scholarships for the students from the Christian community were also cancelled. The financial assistance given for Christian youth to purchase taxi was reduced to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 5 lakh.

The financial assistance for self-employment was reduced while Ganga Kalyana Yojana for the community members too was abandoned. Funds have not been released for the development of the community in the past two years, he charged.

Ivan said an action plan would be chalked out to stage a protest after discussing with community leaders against the move of the government.

Corporators Lancelot Pinto, Naveen D’Souza among others were also present.